Release an App for Windows Phone 7 in 7 Days for a Chance to Win a New HTC 7 Trophy Phone

Following on from The Great Kiwi Windows Azure Competition I got a taste for the 10 hour app. I started looking across other areas where I have been procrastinating. This lead me to Windows Phone 7, despite having a phone and also having a developer account for the marketplace I hadn’t built and released my own app! I invested 10 hrs over the last couple of weeks and have now released my first app.

What I want from you: I did a quick check on the number of apps released by NZ developers and discovered that we currently have 92 applications in the marketplace. I’ve been saying for months that I want to break the magic 100 mark and I figured it was time for me to put some flesh in the game.

The Challenge: Finish, build and release your app in 7 days and be in to win a new HTC 7 Trophy Phone!image

1. Contact me through this blog and if you convince me that you are based in New Zealand (e.g. give me a phone number for me to call you on) I’ll give you a token to get a free one year membership in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace. Do this first as it takes a number of business days to confirm your identity and access your account.

  1. 2. Download and install the phone tools (be prepared to have this process run in the background for up to an hour).

3. Build and/or finish that WP7 app that you’ve been working on or meaning to create!

4. Release it to the marketplace!

5. I will collect all the apps released into the marketplace by NZ developers (excluding Microsoft employees and their families) from today Monday 16th May until Monday the 6th June 2011 (the extra time is so you can get your account setup and activated and also enable you to fail certification a couple of times but still be able to enter the draw).

6. From the applications I get I will draw the phone winner at random and announce the winner here on the 7th June 2011. Good Luck!

If you are the sort of person that is short of ideas here are a few:

  1. The Ian Randall – Because Ian told me he would build an app if he had a good idea.
  2. The RSS App -  Many NZ sites have RSS feeds available

My Idea: Group buy and daily deal sites are invading New Zealand in mass with every man and his dog is launching one. I figured it would be worthwhile building a simple REST service on an Azure Extra Small instance to act as an aggregator then build a WP7 mobile app to display all the deals together in one place.

The Process:  The project took me under 10 hours from idea to delivery.

    1. Earlier last year I built a couple of sample apps for Trade Me that used the REST based read only API that Trade Me created for the Windows Vista Launch Gadget back in 2007. I started with my source code from that WP7 project.
    2. I built the .NET 4 WCF REST Service, and used BLOB storage serialization caching to speed things up.
    3. I released my On Sale in Auckland application to the marketplace.

I got the Buzz:

After releasing the app (within my 10 hour self imposed timeframe) I was motivated to enhance the app and release another version that supports more cites in New Zealand and takes advantage of the panorama control. Enter On Sale in New Zealand, this app took 2 hours yesterday to build from my existing services and is currently being tested for marketplace release.

Getting Over the Line: I have noticed other kiwi WP7 apps getting close to shipping hopefully the chance of winning a new phone will push some developers to publish their apps. I’m looking at you @rushdigital.

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